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I have used the same pound cake recipe in the same pan for years. The last two times I made it; the cake was a hot mess. The cake overflowed the pan onto my my freshly cleaned oven. It was very giggly. I continued to cook it, and when finally done, it sank.

6 large eggs
1 cup butter
1 cub buttermilk
3 cups all purpose flour
1.2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1.4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat butter, then add sugar, add eggs one at a time and beat for one minute after each/scrap sides, add lemon peel, juice, and vanilla, add flour and buttermilk alternately, start and end with flour. Bake 55-60 minutes at 350 degrees.

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The question is: What's changed? Same oven? Does the oven work correctly? Do you use the same tray in the oven? ... –  BaffledCook Dec 15 '13 at 15:31

2 Answers 2

Over-rising and then sinking sound very much like a cake made with too much leavening.

Since you cake is made with the creaming method, and baking soda, there are two sources of leavening:

  • The baking soda, as a chemical leavener, will react with the acid from the lemon juice and butter milk. Have you changed brands or amounts of any of these items that might change the acid ratio?

  • Creaming the sugar with the butter causes the sharp edges of he sugar to cut air bubbles into the solid butter phase, which serve as the seeds of the leavening. Has anything changed here, such as starting to use a stand mixture?

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Everything is the same: same brands, same oven, have always used the same stand mixer. My oven is only 5 years old. I have an oven theometer that did read the correct temperature. If an element is out, and only heating from the top or only from the bottom impact the baking? –  Donna Dec 15 '13 at 12:17
    
@Donna even if we are stumped as to why the cake is suddenly overleavened when you changed nothing, the symptoms are very clear: the cake is overleavened. Reducing the baking soda and lemon juice will solve the problem, if not the mystery. –  rumtscho Dec 15 '13 at 12:26

In addition to what SAJ14SAJ said (good comments all) could it perhaps be the size of your eggs? Going from medium sized to extra-large eggs (US standards) can add the equivalent of an entire egg when the recipe calls for six eggs. An entire extra egg could easily cause the problems you describe.

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I have always used just large eggs from the store. –  Donna Dec 15 '13 at 12:18
    
Hmmm...I don't think you could lose an element and not know it, but to be sure, broil a piece of bread then bake a piece of bread. Beyond that, I concur with rumtscho in her comment above. –  Jolenealaska Dec 15 '13 at 12:29

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